Dogs have the magical power to bring many of us joy. We love the way they dote on their human companions, happy to welcome us home or pleased to snuggle up with a book in the evening. At times, they have an excitement that can be contagious, and at other times, they are the perfect example of loafing. Some barking, jumping, and licking might not be the epitome of appropriate, but nevertheless, dogs can be great friends.
So, from time to time, maybe a couple of times a day even, it’s nice to give those puppies a treat to enjoy. It would be even nicer if that treat was something healthy rather than processed, and for those of us who are vegan, it would be much easier on the conscience. Plus, though many don’t think it, dogs are actually big fans of plenty of plant-based fare.
And, they are easy to make with ingredients likely already around the house.
The Three-Ingredient Biscuit
Truth be known, dogs are usually pretty happy to eat whatever we do, with only the occasional sniff and nose turned up. With that in mind, making dog treats can’t be all that difficult. In fact, it can be done with just three ingredients!
Some ingredients provide a surefire way to get dogs interested, such as peanut butter. In fact, most dogs will happily clean a spoon of peanut butter and call it a day, but for the fun of making something special for them, let’s think bigger than that.
To make a treat biscuit-y, we’ll need some kind of filling medium. While it’s possible to use flour, it’s probably much healthier to go with oat flour (just put regular oats in the food processor if you don’t have any), rice flour or something like that. This also adds in some protein.
Lastly, bananas provide a nice boost of vitamins and minerals. In fact, many vets recommend them as alternatives to store-bought treats, as well as for calming stomachaches. And, dogs are pretty fond of their flavor.
The Basic Recipe
For an easy and basic treat, blend a ¼ cup of peanut butter, two ripe bananas, and a cup of oat flour. Chill this mixture in the fridge for 15-20 minutes then roll it out onto the counter until it’s about ½ inch thick. At this point, many folks like to have a little thematic fun and go with a bone-shaped cookie cutter, but any shape will do. Then, bake them at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about a half-hour. The biscuits, about a dozen, then, need to be stored in an air-tight container.
- Note: These are perfectly legit for people to eat as well. So, to flip the script a little, it’d be possible to have a treat from the doggie’s stash rather than it from yours. And, like with people, one or two cookies a day is enough!
Undoubtedly, dogs will be more than happy with the basic recipe, but sometimes it’s fun to play around and give them something new. There are many functional additions to add to these treats to give them a twist and use beyond being nice.
- Breath Freshener: To be completely frank, however nice dogs may be, they don’t always have the most pleasant breath, so using a treat can work double duty: something kind for the pup and something kind for us. Add a teaspoon of mint to the mixture.
- Shine Up: Not that dogs are necessarily worried about it, but sometimes their coats could use a little sprucing up. That just takes a little healthy fat, the same as with our hair. Try adding a teaspoon of ground flax or chia seeds to the mix.
- Beta Biscuits: Carrot sticks, straight-up, make a healthy snack for dogs. It’s good for their teeth, eyes, skin, bowels, and overall health. Adding some grated carrot to the basic biscuit recipe is also a good way to feed your canine some extra veggies.
Flavors to Avoid
This could be a great start for homemade healthiness for Fido as well. Just remember that, while we can eat these dog treats, dogs can’t eat everything we can. Avoid additions (check out this list for more) like chocolate, raisins, sugar, macadamia nuts, and avocados, which might seem cookie appropriate but aren’t dog appropriate.
Now, it’s time to make some DIY treats for your dog, or even your neighbors. Just be sure to ask before feeding someone else’s pet.
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